Oct 1, 2008

Programs Focus Area - Emerging People, Projects, and Ideas

Emerging People, Projects, and Ideas is one of Sustainable Seattle's three focus areas. The goal of this focus area is to develop innovative people, projects, and ideas around cutting-edge sustainability. Our strategy to accomplish this goal is to offer individual and community education, training, and development opportunities.

Below you will find more information on the programs in this focus area.

Leadership Lab. We expect that many new ideas will arise in response to our B-Sustainable website and other new S2 programs. To act upon these innovations, in Spring of 2009 we will start a network of current and future sustainability professionals called Leadership Lab. The Lab will support and develop new leaders in the sustainability movement through peer networking, training, and mentoring , as well as serve as an incubator/launch pad for emerging leaders in sustainability to experiment with new ideas and develop community support. The Lab program is not only an example of ‘what’ S2 will be doing in the future but also ‘how’ we will do things in the future in that the Lab participants will be an integral part of our program development process assuring a never-ending supply of novel ideas and programs around sustainable communities.

Seattle Fast Future. In 2009, Sustainable Seattle will venture into a new program area to envision a truly sustainable future for the Seattle/Puget Sound area and to define the transition steps to get there. The effort will be collaborative, engaging cultural, economic, and environmental leaders of all ages and all walks of life in both the dream and design of a sustainable future for all. One key element of this program area will be our annual Imagine Tomorrow Competition. Far from a simple design competition, Imagine Tomorrow will engage diverse individuals and teams each year in envisioning the Seattle/Puget Sound area in the year 2100, as well as defining key transition steps in achieving their vision. Each year will focus on one key sustainability topic and entrants will be encouraged to think light-years outside the box in terms of what and how they present their ideas, ranging from paintings and performance art to architectural models and artificial intelligence. We'll be announcing more on this program area and the Imagine Tomorrow competition in early 2009.

Sustainability Education. We are continuing our Choose to Change workshops in middle and high schools with funding from EPA Region 10. This year we introduced a active-response technology to the workshop which make the sessions more interactive and allows us to assess learning. We are also planning to make sustainability education the first topic of our new Sustainable Summits program which is explained in more detail below. Our newest workshop for middle and high school students is called Sustainable Design Lab. This workshop, which is focused on art/design and business students, features how the many and diverse design industries are incorporating sustainability and how sustainable design can help address some of our biggest sustainability challenges such as poverty, affordable healthcare, and global warming. >> Read more on our sustainability education programs...

Fiscal Sponsorships. Sustainable Seattle has served as fiscal sponsor for many projects and new nonprofits since 2003. Fiscal sponsorships have been successful for S2 both financially and in that they help develop new initiatives that promote sustainable communities. One of our new programs, Leadership Lab (see below for more details), will identify even more potential fiscal sponsorship projects going forward. Sustainable Seattle is proud to be fiscal sponsor to the following initiatives whose sustainability-based missions and goals complement the work of Sustainable Seattle:
  • Experience Food Project. The Experience Food Project provides cutting edge strategies for sustainable food systems, food education, agriculture and community building. By bringing families and communities back to the table we are creating the foundation for a lifetime of health and vitality.
  • Climate Dialogues. Climate Dialogues is a coalition of local and national groups led by the 2People.org citizen's network. Contact Phil Mitchell (phil [at] 2people.org) for information about getting your business or organization involved. The Dialogues have been formally endorsed by the Seattle City Council.
  • Sustainable Cascadia. Sustainable Cascadia gathers citizens and civic, private sector and NGO leadership (a leader is anyone willing to help!) across the bioregion to invoke a broadly shared civic passion for sustainability and the ongoing cultivation of best practices to dramatically catalyze progress toward sustainability in one generation. This initiative fosters innovation in defining the way forward and develops effective collaborative structures to support learning and implementation of an ongoing action agenda. Sustainable Cascadia stewards an alliance of organizations to co-create an ongoing action agenda. It catalyzes engagement, supplementing the events with collaborative technology infrastructure, collaborative work sessions and leadership development at the community level.